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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ahmedabad and Bangalore Bomb blasts


Bottom line: Justice must prevail and criminals must be punished.

I am saddened by these blasts and have been thinking about solutions and avoiding knee jerk reactions. Our emotional response would be to blast them terrorists and any one that resembles them, but then we would be hurting the innocents on the way, just like those terrorists. We do not want to give reason to the innocents to get into the battlefield of revenge, as the revenge cycle takes a long time to stop. That should not be our goal, we need to confine this problem to individuals.

Reactions may bring temporary band aid results, we need to go to the root cause of the problem and work on it for the long term security. The network of terrorists is spreading and we have to check them.

One way of handling this is to treat them as criminals and punish them accordingly. Even though the group is claiming an Islamic sounding label, we should not fall for their trap and call them Islamic terrorists, as they are attempting to implicate others who had nothing to do with their criminal act. Instead, we need to isolate them and simply treat them as criminals who violated peace and punish them and not bring the name of religion at all.

These are bad signs for our country and we need to move with caution and find the base for these activities. Any reactionary measure would hurt us. India has come a long way and we need to protect and preserve the growth.

Mike Ghouse


July 26, 2008
World Briefing Asia
India: 7 Roadside Bomb Blasts in a Southern City Kill 2

At least seven roadside bombs exploded in the southern city of
Bangalore shortly after noon, killing two people and wounding at least
seven, according to the police and the Indian government. The police
said that the city's famed technology sector did not seem to be the
target. The explosions, which appeared to be intended to create panic,
were set off in crowded middle-class neighborhoods. Police officials
in Bangalore declined to speculate on who was responsible.


Sixteen bombs hit India's Ahmedabad, 29 killed
By Rupam Jain NairSat Jul 26, 2:25 PM ET

At least 16 small bombs exploded in the Indian city of Ahmedabad on Saturday, killing at least 29 people and wounding 88, a day after another set of blasts in the country's IT hub, officials said.

On Friday, eight bombs exploded in quick succession in the southern information technology city of Bangalore, killing at least one person and wounding six others.

Saturday's blasts were in Ahmedabad's crowded old city dominated by its Muslim community. One was in a metal tiffin box, used to carry food, another apparently left on a bicycle.

"The blasts occurred in 90 minutes, one in a hospital, others in the old city of Ahmedabad," Narendra Modi, the state's Hindu-nationalist chief minister told reporters.

There were two separate series of bombings, the first near busy market places. A second quick succession of bombs went off 20 to 25 minutes later around a hospital, where at least six people died, police said.

Several TV channels said they had received an email from a group called the "Indian Mujahideen" at the time of the blasts. The same group claimed responsibility for eight bombs that killed 63 people in the western city of Jaipur in May.

One television channel showed a bus with its side blown up, shattered windows and the roof half-destroyed. Another showed a dead dog lying beside a blown-up bicycle.

"The bus had just started when the blast happened," P. K Pathak, a retired insurance official who was traveling in nearby bus, told Reuters.

"Many people standing on the exit door fell down. There was fire and smoke all over. We got down from our bus and rushed to help them."

Ahmedabad is the main city in the communally sensitive and relatively wealthy western state of Gujarat, scene of deadly riots in 2002 in which 2,500 people are thought to have died, most of them Muslims killed by rampaging Hindu mobs.


Both states targeted in the bomb attacks are ruled by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party and are among the country's fastest-growing.

Suspicion is falling on Islamist militants intent on destabilizing India by fanning tensions between Hindus and Muslims, and police were deployed in Ahmedabad on Saturday to maintain calm.

India has suffered a wave of bombings in recent years, with targets ranging from mosques and Hindu temples to trains.

It is unusual for any group to claim responsibility, but India says it suspects militant groups from Pakistan and Bangladesh are behind many of the attacks.

"The government had received a threat e-mail and we are probing into it," local state government Home Minister Amit Shah told Reuters.

So far, police say they have few leads into Friday's Bangalore bombings.

On Saturday, another unexploded bomb was found near a shopping mall in Bangalore, but it was unclear whether the bomb was newly planted or meant to have exploded during Friday's attacks, police said.

India's home ministry said on Friday it suspected "a small militant group" was behind the Bangalore attacks, while some police officials suspected the blasts could be the work of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India.

Some IT companies in Bangalore, known as India's Silicon Valley, were increasing security after bombs went off there. Each bomb had a similar explosive force to one or two grenades.

The city is a prominent software development centre and is also home to a major outsourcing industry.

Also nicknamed the "world's back office," Bangalore has more than 1,500 top firms, including Infosys, Wipro and the offices of global firms such as Microsoft Corp and Intel Corp.

"If such incidents continue, investors will fly away from the city," said state opposition politician Mallikharjuna Kharge.

(Writing by Simon Denyer; Editing by Alistair Scrutton)


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